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tv   [untitled]    August 1, 2013 2:30am-3:01am PDT

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through this program, if we can move the slides forward, called safe school ambassadors. basically what we do in my remaining 18 seconds is to go into our public schools and identify alpha social leaders of different cliques believing if we could identify first and enroll the leaders of different kinds of groups we can seed each group with a social change agent, each one teaching one, each one reaching one by modeling the intervention behaviors we teach these young people and here's what we know after 12 years: a thousand public schools in 32 states, more than 500 schools here in california, hundreds here within the bay area, is that the kids who we train and equip to raise their voice then intervene with their friends because with their friends they feel safe. they've got emotional chips in the bank, they have history, and they can model each one teach one, each
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one reach one, we have trained over 40 kids in the first year, a couple hundred young people at each school and they intervene at a minimum of two times a week. when you have the leaders of different cliques beginning to raise their voices, raise their courage because they are always bystanders, we are beginning to change social norms that makes it cool to be cruel and makes it more likely for kids to be cruel to be kind. that's the job we have to do more than anything else and it will take our courage and their courage to make that happen. the good news is we have done research studies and we have evidence, as we move the slides forward and you have it if you go to our web site, that it works. when you begin to create a social tipping point by educating young people to raise their voice and giving them a tool so they feel more competent to do it, they will naturally do it. it is their nature. as they do it, other
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kids, positive social peer influence, do it. we change the norms in our school. suspensions have decreased nationally in the thousand schools we've been in by more than 30 percent, discipline referrals go down because young people are defusing the escalating interrupting, preventing and stopping injustice. do we have the courage as a nation to stop focusing on the problem and begin to really understand the best cost effective solution is to empower our young people? treat them not as empty bottles to be filled but candle sz to be lit. and i hope we can all use our collective voices today to spread a message of empowerment, justice and courage. courage. thank you . >> thanks, rick, i think we'll dig into that message of empowerment a little bit more
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deeply. next up is. >> our president was unable to be with us today but sends her greetings from washington, dc i hope you all have the handouts on the table that describe our organization. basically for the last 20 years, our organization has challenged stereotypes and misinformation about muslims and their faith, true education. we believe the bias and discrimination and hate that we see is generally commonly based on lack of information or misinformation and we believe that by providing accurate face to face information about any group that is the best way to combat bias and discrimination. so that's what we've been focusing on for the last 20 years. we go out to schools and other convenient tues and basically talk about what it means to be an american muslim. we have other related presentations
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that we do as well and a few years ago we also launched an interfaith speakers bureau where we take out representatives of the 5 major religions and do the same thing and we model in front of high school and middle school students how the faiths can sit down like we are sitting here today and have conversations about our commonalities but about our differences as well. many of the comments we get from students is, wow, you guys can sit up there and talk because most of the pictures our students see are the ones that have been playing across our screens the last 2 or 3 days. we hope by challenging that we can prevent bullying and harassment we've been seeing here today. >> thank you, amina stacy is manager of
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communications for the los angeles giants. >> if you think about what our mission is, you probably think our mission is to win the world series every year, which hopefully this year we're on the right track, but actually our mission statement, we just went through an exercise but our mission statement has always been to enrich the community through innovation. and it's very, i am very proud of the fact that the giants have been able to take that mission and bring it into the community through really dynamic partnership with the experts in the field. about 14 years ago, tommy short, my friend in the audience, came to us with sheriff hennesy and asked us to take on a controversial topic of violence and it was 14 years ago we hosted stamp out violence today. we brought
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together victims of violence, offenders, community leaders working on this issue to raise awareness about the impact of violence in our community. at that time the message was violence is learned and can be unlearned. the thing that the giants have and the reason why we're here today as part of this panel is we have this unique ability to create a platform with role model sz in our community to speak out about uncomfortable and controversial but important issues in our community. strike out violence day was one of those issues, we've done it with until there's a cure day and last year we were very very proud to create a video with part of the it gets better campaign which i think we have a copy today that we'll roll quickly for you. our players, for better or worse, and i do say that, have a significant impact on young people in our community today and if we can steer them in a positive direction to send messages about antibullying and
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antiviolence, our players are more than willing to do so. i want to quickly show the it gets better video that showed last year, we were the first professional team to do so. it was filmed with the cooperation of all the partners throughout the bay area that provide the us with the expertise to talk about these important issues. >> we all know how difficult life can be as a teenager. >> we've all been there
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(inaudible). >> we promise you, it does get better. >> please visit itgetsbetter.org for more information. >> thanks, stacy, and it can get better especially if we are all working together which is what today is all about. last but not least, michael niland, program coordinator for the api wellness center. >> they model over 20 cultures, speak over 10 different languages, whether they are straight or gay, transgender, lesbian, we have them all. when we listen to their stories we see common themes, things like i can't come out it my dad because he'll beat me up. things like i can't tell my friends i'm gay, i'll lose them. i feel like i don't have anyone, i'm better off dead.
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these stories come up over and over again. it's not new news that safe spaces isn't enough any more. we can't just provide that safe space. we really have to take a look at where they are coming from and listening to their stories and assessing what they want from us as service providers. in my experience the most flourishing circumstances where youth have become strong and become independent from situations where they have been bullied or they have been discriminated against are times when we have given them power, we have given them a voice, we've given them a chance to say, hey, this is what i want to do and this is how i'm going to strip away that pain and hurt and i'm going to transform it to a mural. i'm going to tell the liquor store to stop
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selling alcohol to youth. i'm going to present my views at a national convention and that's how i've seen youth that have been hurt and cried and cried themselves to sleep turn into powerful leaders. earlier rick mentioned choosing alpha youth as key points to influence their peers. what better way from getting -- getting a person or youth who has been hurt, transforming them into an alpha leader and then having them mentor other youth who are in their situation. we have to listen to their stories and we have to give them power. >> mike, thank you. so, mike, i think as you mentioned and tom and ruslyn bullying is often fueled by bias, whether that's racial, ethnic, religious, or against the lgbq community. amina, you
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said bias is often fueled by misinformation. >> certainly in the muslim community that's very obvious. since 9-11 that's increased but even before 9-11 there were so many stereotypes out there, whether from hollywood, which portrayed muslim as terrorists, as womanizers, to just a host of campaigns over the last few years from the ground zero mosque to the koran burning, local and national campaigns against building mosques, all of these are obviously going to impact children and their parents and if they are at home hearing their parents talk about muslims in a certain way, they are going to take that to school with them. i have experienced this in my own growing up, which was long before 9-11, just the lack of information or the
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misinformation i experienced again with my own children, particularly when there's an event that happens overseas they will come to school and kids will reflect that in comments about did your parents commit another terrorist act, was that your dad that did this. it's common for kids to be called bin laden, daughter of saddam. a lot of times events overseas will have a huge impact on the kind of words children experience and unfortunately that bias is not limited just to students. there are cases where the teachers themselves have a lot of bias. there was an article published a couple years ago called suffer the little muslims where teachers, who are just human beings, any information from the media is going to be biased. we believe by providing an authentic voice that we believe can best be conveyed by people in that
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group, that is the best way to counter that bias and humanize that particular group, whether it's adults or children. >> thanks, amina mike or stacy, do you have anything to add to that? >> i think one area that can grow from this is within the family. we see youth that come from different countries and y that are lgbq and because their families come from a culture different from america and because they have to pay homage to that culture yet they are in america, they are at a struggle. it's not surprising when they come home and they want to talk to their mom or they want to talk to their dad or talk to their siblings about something a happened at school or something that happened at a community organization they are involved in, they just can't because they feel that -- they
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can't. they are afraid to and even if they do, they either get disowned or get kicked out or get beat up, unfortunately sometimes. i feel that sometimes family can feed into biases because of those cultural differences and we as community service providers need to realize that and acknowledge that. families aren't always positive for our youth. >> becky, in your experience what does it take to unseat that kind of bias? >> i think there are a few things. i wanted to back up a little tiny bit. when luslyn talked this morning she talked about our society not only tolerating but sometimes promoting it. one example is immigrants that has been widely out there in the last few years really increasing along with the kinds of things that amina talked about, very anti-immigrant messages coming out in the media. in new york,
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you probably remember this, some of you, in 2008 high school students were going out on a weekly basis beating up immigrants that they thought were supposedly undocumented immigrants. the students all knew about this but the adults didn't. it results in a hate crime, a murder. a couple things i wanted to bring up. what does it take to unseat bias? first of all, we have to look at all the places that people are getting that violence, those attitudes, and have dialogue about it. just like amina said, we need to be getting to know each other. some researchers back in the 40's came up with 4 important things to address prejudice. the first is getting it know each other, talking about it, getting it out in the open. the second is equal status, we're not just feeling sorry
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for those poor little whatevers that are difrplt than us, but we are all equal. the third one is working together and i think about the giants, we're all for the team, not all together not as if we are color blind and color doesn't exist but with our diversity. the fourth is with power and authority, the person who stands up and says this is what needs to happen, like a school principal who says we're not going to let kids go around the school saying that's okay, all these things are needed. >> i like that, that's great. something that really resonated with me that tom said, if you simply tolerate diversity you are aspiring to mediocrity. can you talk about the ambassadors, adults taking an active role to intervene when
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we witness bullying. >> all of us are humbled by the virus, how systemic it's become. how do you get your hands around that? for me it's top down and bottom up. we are authority figures and what we do for our children and that's care, but we need to empower them to become the leaders they are waiting to become. this notion of youth adult partnership is esoteric in its term but on the ground how do you operationalize it, those things in the public school who are working so hard to meet the required mandates. schools are driven by mandates, academic achievement, achievement, enrollment. but the conditions in which the virus grows, if you follow the metaphor that bullying is a systemic virus, then the environment has to change so
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the virus cannot grow and the only way the environment changes is if youth and adults begin to speak with one voice about changing the social norms that allows it to happen. it makes sense to most of us, you have it khaifrpb the social norms. we must educate. but we must go beyond thinking more rigor will get us better achievement. we have to remember a school is a community and in a xhuept, people look out for each other. they've got each other's back. how do we begin to promote that idea that we are in this thing together? we believe it's through, unfortunately but truly, self-interest. kids are driven developmentally by the desire to fit in, to belong, to be part of an affinity group. if we can capitalize on their desire to look out for their friends and give them some more tools and opportunities and support, they will begin to do what we need them to do to at least confront it in their own
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small cell of social influence and the compounding and leveraging of that begins to make change. so the question we have to ask ourselves, are we as adults willing it slow down enough to invite kids to sit down at the table with us and partner? do we have the courage to understand that inclusion takes time and we have have to work more diligently to i invite young people, particularly marginalized young people, to take part. >> you mentioned changing social norms and i would imagine, stacy, part of that is powerful role models and so i think that that's a lot about the work that you are doing with the san francisco giants. so can you talk a bit about how you see the san francisco giants as being those role models and playing an active role and being upstanders? >> part of it is the role
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model stand point and using baseball as a hook to get people's attention. when we have a captive audience of 40,000 people plus a wide tell television and radio audience, we use that to get across the message about an issue. sometimes we get letters, hey, i came to see a game with my son and instead i'm hearing about a murder committee in yosemite and that's a downer of a way to start the day. sometimes that's a tough conversation with a fan but at least at the end of the day they've taken something away with them. also at the grass roots level we have a junior giants program, it's a youth baseball
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program throughout california. we use baseball as the hook to get kids to come together to learn about teamwork, we have a whole can urriculum that's based on the importance of reading, literacy, education, we have a whole violence prevention can urriculum, we have 22,000 kids playing baseball throughout northern california, junior giants baseball, and we have a number of volunteer coaches and commissioners and one of the things that we ask every year our junior giants players to do is to take the peace pledge. it's basically the pledge is i'm a junior giant, i pledge to strike out violence by, and the first line is prevent bullying and respecting my teammates, coaches, family and friends. so at the peer grass roots level where we have coaches working closely with kids we hope to spread a message, we also have an art contest, imagine peace where we honor kids at a ballgame later in the year just so kids can interpret and show their form of how they
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interpret anti-bullying and peace in this society. you know, it's not perfect, it doesn't always work. i think sometimes people tune us out. but we feel strongly that with the partnerships that we have in the community we can make an impact and i think there's a bias or there's an assumption in sports that it's a homophobic industry, it's almost like that man bites dog, people look up and say, wait a minute, that's not the way to do things. >> we have talked about policy, legal, now you hear about organizations doing boots on the ground and doing work in their communities. michael, you said something interesting, that family can sometimes not be a positive influence. let's get micro, what influences do you draw upon, what influenced
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you to become an antibias aspect, personal or family, aspects of your own cultural identity? >> okay, being the eldest of three and a vietnamese family is very difficult. throw in being gay, it makes it a lot more stressful. and throw in being clinically labeled as obese at age 13, you have a recipe for bullying and discrimination all over. so that was me. and it was hard and it wasn't until someone took a chance on me and mr. burket saved my life. there are moments where i've been in the shoes where my youth have been. if it wasn't for mr. burket, i wouldn't be here and i wouldn't be able to provide the services that i provide my youth today. that's why i do it. that's why i'm a
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program coordinator at the wellness center, that's why i co-chair gay asian, that's why i sit on the wellness committee of san francisco. it's a way for me to give back. i hope that answers your question and thank you for allowing me to be a panelist. >> rick, amina or stacy, anything you with like to share from your personal experiences? ?oo >> speaking about your personal life in front of people you know or don't know isn't always an easy thing, you wouldn't know by looking at me but i'm an immigrant. i wasment born in the united statesment i came to this country, to california, when i was a 10-year-old with a single mother and two small brothers living in a motel. my first experience at public school, i must have had a kick me sign on my back because being difficult, as you would understand, made me a target and that imprint stayed with me for many years and guided me in
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a very dysfunctional angry self-loathing kind of way as many children do. today, 160,000 kids are not in public school because they are afraid of what someone might say or do to them. so that lives in me and like some of you and your own stories, i was fortunate enough to use it to become a teacher, a principal, and assistant superintendent of public schools and now a nonprofit director whose single mission is to do what we're doing to make sure kids go to school where they feel safe and included. one of my personal stories of value, it helps to connect us because, i don't want to speak in cliche, but it's harder it -- to hate somebody when you know their story. common ground doesn't necessarily make us best friends but we start to thread community and we find acceptance for differences and compassion. today isn't about me, today is
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about do we have the courage it leave here today and not just say it was an interesting day, that each of us in this room is going to be inspired enough to take action, each one reaching one, and that's the only reason i would take the time to share a personal story is to know that you can walk out here and right now, today, we can make a difference. >> you know, i think we have a group of very powerful leaders here today. i think to build on what rick was really saying about taking some of the negative experiences that he had, that mike had growing up, and use them to power forward and use them to build some amazing organizations and we all want people in this room to do something. but there are limitations, limitations to your organization's capacity it reach more people, to roll out your can urriculum and to get your programs in more places. can you talk a little bit about what they are and what people in this room can do to help?
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amina, you want to get us started? >> sure. in your packets you should have our program that we have locally in the bay area and we also have affiliated across the country in many areas. our dream would be to have a similar program to ours in every city in the united states. obviously that takes time, our speakers are volunteers, they aren't paid. it may take 4 or 5 hours to go into schools so resources are always an issue. many schools are afraid to invite speakers in to talk about any religion, but particularly islam, there's not always a clear understanding to what the first amendment guarantees, which is the right to teach about a religion but not proselytize about it. i think there's fear of
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associating with anyone associated with islam. there are events outside our control that creates more interest and unfortunately also makes people more afraid. one of the programs we are about to launch is putting all our content online so a teacher in north dakota where there are no muslim, potentially, no expert can come to her classroom, they can go to our web site and download the content and teach the things we are teaching. >> i think partnerships are the best way to overcome the limitations because we all have limitations. and sometimes it's just visibility. we actually have on our web site 50 short films and one of them is a muslim student from a school in fremont going to a school in arinda talking about
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what it's like going to school as a muslim in the united states and they are asking questions and you see we are all kids in school and we have more similarities than differences. i think by partnering there are so many ways that we can spread these ideas because ultimately we're talking about a cultural shift. so we're all limited by our financial resources and by who knows about us, but as we partner together and i say this to all of us in this room because that's basically what rick is challenging us to do is to not let this day stop here but walk out of here and work together to make differences. the bay area can really be a leader in that way. >> partnerships and resources. anyone else want to raise a few other ideas regarding limitations? >> yeah, the schools again are driven by i think 3 things: pain and what's going on needs
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and mandates and also leadership of the people in the buildings and behind the buildings. so one of the things that many of us here understand that the environment or what we call the climate influences outcomes but often times in public schools where decisions are made, climate and educational mandates are perceived as two opposite ends of the continuum, like when i have time and i've achieved my test scores and we've got everything buttoned up, then we'll get to the klie mallet. we've heard it from speaker after speaker, that conditions set the stage for children to leeb lean in and achieve. the good news is we can move bullying out of the front page not with more dollars but with more changes in our attitudes and our

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